Julian, California

Julian, California

Julian is the heart of San Diego County’s high country. Only an hour by car from the city, the picturesque village 4,200 feet above sea level is tucked into gentle folds of mountains that top out at nearby Cuyamaca Peak (elevation: 6,512 feet).

Gold was discovered here in 1870. For a decade, Julian was Southern California’s mining boomtown. Gold and quartz mining played out after a few years, but Julian didn=t. Temperate four-season climate, good soil and proximity to San Diego contributed to the village=s success as a trade and farming center. Today, the robust heritage is carefully tended in architectural flourishes and museums. The community may be quieter nowthan during the gold rush…except on weekends. Year-round on Saturdays and Sundays, carloads of families drive up to enjoy cool clear air, alpine recreation, and a highly strollable little downtown where authentic and reproduced Victorian buildings house numerous restaurants and shops full of collectibles. Thanks to a long history of apple orchards sprinkled among the surrounding hills, apple products are another major draw. Pies and cider are available in several bakeries and cafes downtown and (in the fall) at roadside stands. Adding to high country charm are woodlands punctuated by trophy trees (including the world's largest Coulter Pine and coast live oak), and in spring, wild and domestic lilacs and daffodils (by the millions!) Small inns and bed-and-breakfasts (including two extraordinary ones) offer romantic getaways for visiting couples, with choice locations in the heart of town or on shady country lanes nearby.